Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cruel Summer

     "Are you ever going to blog again?"

     So asks my husband, probably about twice a week. The need to get things out of my head hasn't diminished, just the drive to actually do it. Hell, I'm not even journaling as much as I used to, and that's a habit I've had for almost twenty years. I don't know what it is, but it makes me uncomfortable and restless. I don't like keeping the sticky thoughts inside, because they certainly cause cranial traffic jams with alarming frequency, and it affects my ability to focus on things I really need to do, like get my eating habits in order, and figure out ways to straighten out kinks at work. I can't focus lately, though, and I think this is why.

     This has been a rough summer for my husband and I, not gonna lie. We started the year off with him not working for four months thanks to red-tape bullshit, and we still haven't recovered from that. We're doing our best, but it's damned hard to stick to a budget when things, medical things, keep popping up right and left and sucking up any excess in our checking account. I've said it before, and I'll say it until I'm dead - people don't realize just how valuable being healthy really is.

     Our summer started on a less-than-pleasant note when I fractured my elbow carrying groceries one night, and it hasn't really gotten better since. For once, it was me who needed medical care, including multiple trips to an orthopedist, an MRI, and physical therapy, so that was something new and different in our household. My husband was a wonderful nurse throughout, and I know it made him happy to be able to take care of me. (Obviously he wasn't happy that I was hurt in the first place, but you get what I'm saying.) He carries around a lot of  (unnecessary) guilt which stems from the fact that I'm not only his wife, but his caretaker.

     I actually found a really good article about that the other day, which I plan to blog about at a later date, but for the purposes of this entry, let's just leave it at, I think it made him feel more needed and less of a burden. (His words, not mine, before you jump on me for my phrasing.) So, that was one good thing to come out of it. The added stress of a broken wing, though, was un-fucking-pleasant around here. I was irritable because of the stupid injury, and the stupid cast that I had to wear for almost two months, and the million little things it affected for both of us.

     I know, in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse. Well, yeah, it can always be worse - I could've cut the damn thing off in a freak wood-chipper accident, but that's not what happened. What happened was, I, the "healthy one", the caretaker, the one who always has to be ready to go should something happen with my husband's health, was functioning at 75%. Seeing that typed out, it actually doesn't seem like a thing that I should've worried so much about, but I did.

     I think there's always an underlying current of fear in our house, that something catastrophic to my husband's health will happen at any moment, and me being semi-out of commission just added to it. That's not a completely unfounded fear, by they way. In the nearly six years we've been married, health catastrophes have happened on more than one occasion. And no, that's not hyperbole; I mean, had we not had our amazing network of parents and families and friends, we would have lost the roof over our heads. Not because we'd fucked up, but because the society in which we live is not kind to those who aren't able-bodied. It was, without a doubt, the most terrifyingly uncertain period in my life, and to this day, I haven't been able to shake the fear that we're just one sick day away from being right back in that place.

     So yeah, this summer was hard. We did it, though, thanks in no small part to our network, and also the fact that my husband and I somehow both ended up with good employers. Maybe it's because of past experience, or the fact that I see every day what happens to people when their employers just don't care about how health issues can and do affect their ability to work, but I get really twitchy when it comes to having to take off work for any type of illness. I like to believe I'm slowly getting better about it, but the panic I sometimes feel whenever my husband has to call in more than once a month tells me otherwise.

     It's going to get better, though, because this summer's almost over.